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Garmin fenix 6 vs. Forerunner 745: Which should you buy?

Garmin Forerunner 745 Lifestyle 8
Garmin Forerunner 745 Lifestyle 8 (Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

Garmin fenix 6

Garmin Fenix 6

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If you're seeking a watch that takes tracking to the next level, you'll appreciate the Garmin fenix 6. It's not much different than its predecessor, but it has made some improvements. You'll now have a Pulse Ox sensor that monitors blood oxygen levels, battery saving modes, and the new PacePro technology to help you keep your pacing strategy on track.

Garmin fenix 6

For versatile adventurers

GPS, HRM, NFC
Activity/stress/sleep tracking
New PacePro technology
10 ATM water resistance
Two weeks of battery life
Extremely expensive
Too big for some wrists

Garmin Forerunner 745

Garmin Forerunner 745

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When you're a serious athlete who needs access to important metrics that will help you improve your performance, look no further than the Garmin Forerunner 745. In addition to standard activity tracking, you'll have performance monitoring tools such as VO2 max, training load, training status, as well as aerobic and anaerobic training effects.

Garmin Forerunner 745

For performance athletes

GPS, HRM, NFC
Activity/stress/sleep tracking
Advanced training metrics
Onboard music storage
5 ATM water resistance
Lacks battery saving modes

Garmin fenix 6 vs. Forerunner 745 Time to compare

Garmin has been a permanent fixture in the world of fitness watches for quite some time now. When choosing between the Garmin fenix 6 and the Forerunner 745, you'll have to decide what features matter most to you. It's worth noting that these two particular smartwatches are each designed for a very specific type of user.

Serious runners and triathletes will benefit most from the features on the Garmin Forerunner 745, which also happens to be the more affordable option. If you spend a lot of time outdoors climbing, hiking, and biking, you may want to spend a bit more for the more advanced features that come with the Garmin fenix 6.

The Garmin fenix 6 is for versatile adventurers

Garmin Fenix 6

Source: Garmin (Image credit: Source: Garmin)

Garmin has gone all out with the fenix 6 Series. It comes with many useful features, including a large, sturdy design that can handle the great outdoors. It comes in a silver 47mm reinforced-polymer case with a metal rear cover, stainless steel bezel, and a 1.3-inch transflective display. Keep in mind that there are other models in this series, but the fenix 6 is the mid-range option for both price and size.

There are various watch modes available on the Garmin fenix 6, and the battery life will vary for each of them. Smartwatch mode will last for 14 days, GPS mode will last for 36 hours, Max Battery GPS Mode can go for 72 hours, Expedition GPS Activity mode lasts for 28 days, and Battery Saver Watch Mode promises 48 days. What's more, users will have access to battery saving modes that disable certain features to extend battery life when you need it most.

Fenix 6Forerunner 745
Display1.3" transflective display1.2" transflective display
Dimensions47 x 47 x 14.7 mm, 57g43.8 x 43.8 x 13.3 mm, 47g
SensorsGPS, GLONASS, Galileo, heart rate monitor, altimeter, compass, gyroscope, Pulse Ox, accelerometer, thermometerGPS, GLONASS, Galileo, heart rate monitor, altimeter, compass, gyroscope, Pulse Ox, accelerometer, thermometer
Water resistance10 ATM5 ATM
Battery lifeSmartwatch mode: up to 14 days
GPS mode: up to 36 hours
Smartwatch mode: up to 7 days
GPS mode: up to 16 hours
Battery saving modes✔️
Garmin Pay✔️✔️
Music storage✔️

As you may have gathered, the Garmin fenix 6 is a rugged watch that's made for outdoorsmen. If you're seeking a standard lifestyle smartwatch, this device will be much more than you probably need. While many people feel that it's not much of an upgrade from its predecessor, there are enough minor changes to justify upgrading to the fenix 6.

The Garmin fenix 6 has improved GPS accuracy.

On this model, your data will be organized into widgets. This makes it easier to sort through important data, like last activity, heart rate, steps, notifications, and music controls. The Garmin fenix 6 has improved GPS accuracy. If you're a competitive swimmer, you'll be happy to know that you can now get a heart-rate reading underwater.

One of the most notable perks unique to the Garmin fenix 6 is the PacePro feature. This technology is designed to help you keep your pacing strategy on track with grade-adjusted guidance as you run a course. You can also create plans directly on your watch or on the Garmin Connect app. As you run, you can view your target split pace, the actual split pace, distance to the next split, and how much time you're ahead or behind on your target.

The Garmin Forerunner 745 is for hardcore athletes

Garmin Forerunner 745

Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

If you're a performance athlete needing a watch that can help you train, you might prefer to buy the Garmin Forerunner 745. This is one of the latest Garmin smartwatches to hit the market, and it's easily one of the best to date. Upon reviewing the feature, you'll see that it's geared toward runners and triathletes who want detailed training stats, on-device workouts, and ample smartwatch functions.

The Garmin Forerunner 745 comes in a 44mm reinforced-polymer case with a 1.2-inch transflective display that's easy to read in sunlight. The color options include Black, Neo Tropic, Magma Red, and Whitestone. This watch offers up to one week of battery life in smartwatch mode, 16 hours in GPS mode, and 6 hours in GPS with music mode.

The Garmin Forerunner 745 offers advanced performance monitoring tools.

You'll get many standard health/activity tracking features, including GPS, heart-rate monitoring, stress tracking, sleep monitoring, and multiple sport modes. Most importantly, the Garmin Forerunner 745 offers advanced performance monitoring tools such as VO2 max, training load, training status, plus aerobic and anaerobic training effects.

Once you finish a difficult workout, the improved recovery time feature will tell you how long you should rest before taking on a challenging training session. You can use Garmin Coach to access free training plans that will adapt to your goals and performance. Other factors that may impact recovery are considered, including all-day stress, sleep, and daily activities. This will automatically adjust the recovery time on the Garmin Forerunner 745, ensuring that you get the most out of your workouts.

Garmin fenix 6 vs. Forerunner 745 Which should you buy?

Garmin Forerunner 745

Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

Because these two smartwatches are designed for two different uses, you'll probably start to lean in one direction rather quickly. If you're a professional athlete who is frequently training and gearing up for the next big competition. The Garmin Forerunner 745 is going to serve you best. You get activity/sleep tracking, key performance monitoring tools, one week of battery life, Garmin Pay, and onboard music storage.

There are many reasons that you may want to consider the Garmin fenix 6 instead. For starters, if you want a wearable with longer battery life, better water resistance, the new PacePro technology, and larger design, then this might just be exactly what you're looking for. It's more expensive, but if you spend a good chunk of your time outside exploring, you'll be glad to have all of these extras on your wrist.

Courtney Lynch is a freelance writer at Android Central. She's obsessed with all things health, fitness, and music. At any given time, she can be found checking out the latest and greatest gadgets while simultaneously petting her dog and sipping iced coffee.